Can Free Shipping Help Improve Your Abandon Cart Rate?

Customers will abandon carts with lightning speed if they are hit with an unexpected shipping charge

  • Written by Meg Thunell
  • Published on October 26, 2021
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Nearly every parent has experienced abandoning a shopping cart filled to the brim with ice cream, frozen waffles, and fruit snacks as they drag a screaming, flailing toddler out of a grocery store at least once.

Luckily for the store stockers, the parent, and the toddler, that doesn’t happen often.

But if your online store were an actual, physical place, you’d probably have more abandoned carts littering your aisles than products on your shelves.

What is shopping cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment, when online shoppers start to checkout but quit before clicking “complete order,” is a natural and expected part of e-commerce. The virtual version of telling a salesperson, “I’m just looking, thanks,” consumers hit “add to cart” because they want to:

  • Keep an item they are interested in easily accessible
  • Compare items and prices
  • Estimate the cost of shipping and taxes
  • Experience the rush of retail therapy without breaking the bank
  • Test a coupon code

Even though it’s just part of doing business, shopping cart abandonment is an $18-billion-dollar problem for retailers annually.

The average documented shopping cart abandonment rate across all industries is a whopping 69.57%. For mobile users, rates jump up to 85.65%.

That’s a lot of money left on the virtual table. Essential Hub wants to help you get it back.

Top 5 reasons for online shopping cart abandonment

The top 5 reasons consumers give for checkout abandonment are:

  1. Extra costs (shipping, taxes, fees) are unexpected or too high (49%)
  2. The site will not allow checkout without creating an account (24%)
  3. Shipping and delivery timelines were too long (19%)
  4. The checkout process was too long or confusing (18%)
  5. The checkout portal did not appear to be secure (17%)

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the truth is that Amazon’s Prime program has dramatically impacted consumers’ online shopping and shipping experience.

According to the statistics above, a whopping 68% of online shopping carts are explicitly abandoned because businesses don’t meet consumer shipping expectations. Even more strikingly, 28% of shoppers will abandon their carts if shipping costs show up as an unexpected “gotcha” during the checkout process.

When you combine the expectation of free and fast shipping with increased consumer privacy rights, those top reasons for shopping cart abandonment make a lot of sense.

EHub’s shopping cart abandonment solutions

You’ll never be able to eliminate shopping cart abandonment completely, but there are things you can do to reduce it significantly:

  1. Offer free shipping.
  2. If you don’t have free shipping, be upfront about all extra costs, like shipping, taxes, and fees, from the first click.
  3. Simplify and secure your checkout process to improve page load times and reduce confusion.

Free shipping
According to AlixPartners, 72% of US consumers said that including free shipping “greatly impacts” their online purchasing decisions. There are multiple use cases from businesses that have seen their orders increase by as much as 90% after implementing free shipping.

You must be thoughtful about adding free shipping to your customer service arsenal if you want to stay in the black. Setting up simple reports to track product pricing, profit, and shipping expenses can give you the data to adjust your market pricing strategy effectively.

At EHub, we help you crunch the numbers to determine which of our streamlined shipping solutions will meet your needs. Because we aggregate shipping costs across all our customers, EHub can offer cheaper solutions than you’d get working directly with the shipping company.

Basically, we make offering free shipping more accessible, cheaper, and faster than you thought possible.

Be upfront about shipping costs
If free shipping isn’t feasible, shipping costs must be clearly visible throughout the entire shopping process. Customers will abandon carts with lightning speed if they are hit with an unexpected shipping charge, even if it’s only $15.

EHub’s proprietary API can seamlessly integrate with your checkout processes to make sure your customers know exactly what kinds of shipping costs to expect (which, as we mentioned, are among the industry’s lowest if you use EHub).

Additionally, EHub can deliver faster, provide tracking, and give you detailed reporting and analytics capabilities that will take shipping from your biggest headache to a walk in the park.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the truth is that Amazon’s Prime program has dramatically impacted consumers’ online shopping and shipping experience

Simplify and secure your checkout processes
Checkout optimizations can improve your conversion rates by 35.26%, which translates to significant profit growth for a small business. Offering guest checkout, optimizing images for faster page loads, adding a progress tracker, and using HTTPS connections are all steps we can take to help you streamline your checkout process and decrease your shopping cart abandonment rates.

Get those carts to the registers

EHub is here to help you optimize your checkout processes and offer shipping solutions to keep your customers digitally pushing their carts to the “complete purchase” button. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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